|Bars in Madrid: |
Ready to order?
Dear new students-
You've just arrived in Madrid and you’ve never been to a Spanish bar. So, what do you do? Go to McDonald’s and order in English? No! If you’re starving in Spain's capital, there is nothing better that to enter the nearest bar, where you can find and try the delicious and varied Spanish gastronomy.
But, before you go into one of Madrid's delightful bars, here are a few tips to help you enjoy the full Spanish experience.
Keep reading for the best tips on bars!
Bar Etiquette: Communication
|Don't forget to smile!|
1. The first thing you do when entering a bar is smile. It always works and every waiter will smile back.
2. It’s best to use the magic words “por favor” (please). Even though people in Spain do not say it as often as they do in other countries, it still is the polite thing to do. You might also want to use the “usted” form, if your waiter is of a certain age.
3. It is courteous to use the “pretérito imperfecto” or “condicional” when conjugating your verbs in Spanish. So you might say things like “quería una coca-cola” or “desearía tomar un café”.
Classic bar drinks
4. Around noon or mid-afternoon it is likely to find Spanish people drinking coffee or, as they say, “un cafelito”. The average Spaniard might order any one of these:
- “Café solo” : black coffee or expresso in a small cup
- “Café cortado”: coffee with a bit of milk.
- “Café con leche”: milk and coffee, 50% each.
- “Café con hielo”: coffee on ice. It’s very common during the hot Spanish summer.
|Mahou is one of the most popular|
6. Wine: The other great protagonist of the Mediterranean diet. If you don’t have a specific wine in mind you simply order by colour, red or white, “tinto” or “blanco”. Most bars in Madrid have a vast wine list for those who are searching for something in particular. If you want something top-shelf, you should ask for “a crianza” or “a reserva”.
Classic bar food
|A classic Spanish tapa.|
The Spanish bar etiquette
|There might be even more chaos|
if the Spanish futbol team is playing.
9. The bathroom. After all the beer and wine, the most pressing question on your mind might be related to the bathroom: Just ask the waiter “¿Dónde está el baño?” They will give you very simple directions.
10. Tipping isn’t always required, but it still is a proper way to repay a job well done, If you are in a restaurant, you can give between a 5% and a 10% or, if you’re having a coffee or a beer in a bar, leave some leftover coins.
We hope that this advice comes in handy! No matter what, you are sure to have a great time in Madrid and its charming bars. If you found this helpful, you might also enjoy reading this article: 5 Popular Tapas Bars in Madrid or Cava Baja, the street of a thousand bars